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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Between mansions in Heaven and Aso Rock seat

By Bao Fasunwon

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Politics is an interesting event. While we focus more attention on what happens in the realm of national and or international politics of control. We all are engaged in politicking at various levels. The woman who constantly makes her children know that their father is not treating them well is only trying to secure a place in their heart and future ‘mansions’; so also, is a man who publicly flits with ladies without having in truth any relationship with them. The don, who greets the Vice Chancellor everyday and gives him unsolicited reports about his colleagues is playing politics, while the clergy who makes people think that his church is the only legitimate Holy Ghost recognized heaven bound assembly, is also playing politics. Politics is all about who gets, what, how and when. So, politics is all about gain. In other words, all who engage in politics are in it for something, mostly for themselves.No man involved in politics lacks the quest for self-preservation, and immortal self-perpetuation. Having said that, let us address some issues in the race for the Presidency, especially on the part of the ruling party, APC.

There is a lot of euphoria about the APC given the hundred-million-naira price tag for its nomination forms. While the party in its wisdom had observed that many ‘unserious’ aspirants may jump on the train wagon if the price had been lower, citizens feel that it is a call to corruption. However, despite the high premium on the form, about eighteen aspirants, and some still rallying funds have signified their intention at seeking for the plum job. The anger on the part of Nigerians have moved from the path of the cost to the fact that current public office holders have rubbed it in the face of Nigerians that despite the nation’s economic hardship, these men, whose official take home pay are known,  were able to purchase forms at a price that could take many Nigerians out of poverty and revitalize our education and health sectors. They are buying the forms while EFCC, who is concerned about Hushpuppy’s ‘meagre’ wealth; the Police, who run after Mercedes driving yahoo boys, and the Code of Conduct Bureau, who drill holes in the back of ‘wealthy’ civil servants, are all silent and blushing. None has asked for explanation of the source of these funds, and none has been invited to explain the source of wealth of sponsors, especially in the wake of unveiling sponsors of terrorists attacks. Truly, in the animal kingdom, some animals are more equal than the others.

That established, many are at sea at why certain Presidential aspirants, who would not win their wards during elections would seek for the number one job, by contesting against another primus inter pares. From personal study of politics and understanding of Nigeria’s political soccer, the answer is simple. The form and its price in the first place are a test of loyalty. APC would need serious funding for the 2023 elections in order to win upcoming elections. Given the Electoral Act, the sales of forms remain a legitimate means of gathering funds. Other means may have legal implications. So many of those buying forms are just funding the party by other means. Also, many of those getting the forms are buying justice. Should the APC win, these pseudo sponsors are guaranteed that the ICPC and EFCC would be prevented from touching these ‘anointed’ party financial supporters.

Furthermore, many are using the purchase of the forms as a negotiating tool for the future. If track records were considered, many of them know that they not get nomination or the nods of delegates in their constituencies for Legislative representations nor Ministerial positions. So, when the battle enters the arena, many gladly turn in their FORM 18, in exchange for automatic tickets and or juicy positions in the new administration. Contrary to the proposition that many would now sell their supports for N500 million in order to jettison their interest, thereby make more money, true politicians do not think like that.

Power is of more importance than money, especially when they know that simple government policy can make a ruin of your fortunes. So, the N100 million in every way a seed for their future or children’s political and economic relevance. Most importantly, the willingness of many politicians, and political investors to part with N100 million reveals two secrets. One is that Nigeria is not a failed project. Politicians do not invest to lose. So, when they are putting money down to rule this country, it means the nation is politically and economically viable. It means that they would be able to make back their investments a hundred-fold. In other words, they have been lying to us all this while that the nation is broke. They have been lying that the refineries cannot be fixed; that Nigerians cannot be rich; that universities cannot be funded, and that salaries cannot be paid. From the amounts realized by all political parties so far, it is evident that politicians have the sole agenda of buying Nigeria for themselves and subject all the people in it to unremunerated servitude and slavery. Nigerians must resist this.

Amazingly, few have observed that getting a ticket to heaven is far cheaper (though out of the reach of many) than getting the APC FORM. A so called Pastor has called on those willing to travel first flight to heaven (at a time when local airline operations are closing shop) pay just N310,00 only. Two, Pastors have however opted to purchase the forms to Aso Rock rather than purchase the heavenly ticket. Pastor Tunde Bakare has resigned his position of the Pastor of his global church purchased the N100 million nomination ticket. Same goes for the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Both would have preached in the past against the vanity of worldly affection and entanglement with the world. Right now, they have suddenly realised that “…God has made us Kings and priests, and we shall reign on earth”. While all human beings have the right to aspire to any position of leadership, my grouse is against the teachings of clerics who insist that followers of God must enrich the church and the leaders, while in humble denial of the luxuries of life should seek for the Kingdom to come. One has often wondered that while the message of the second coming of the Messiah and the punishment of hell is rife, yet religious organisations are fixated in building structures that seem to depict that the earth would last forever. Unfortunately, these structures built by the sweat and funds of many remain the sole property of the ‘Visionary Founder’. Few if any have called their ardent followers to a fest to cushion the effects of non-salary payment, but many have subjected them to many days of fasting and prayers for the religious organisations to grow. As it is, it seems religious leaders have accepted the teachings of Jesus Christ to ‘occupy till I come’. If that be the case, then let all adherents wake up, pursue their goals and realise that ‘as it is on earth, so it is in heaven, kingdom without end’.

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